Carrier pigeons haven't been considered as a practical, efficient mode of communication since World War II, yet eco-conscious shoe company Jojo has found a way to use them for deliveries, physically and digitally. Based on the video below, the Brussels-based brand's flock is meant to deliver at least as much web traffic as they do shoes.
Quote of the day at 2:23...
The bit about having customers submit images of their neighborhoods (for the pigeons' benefit) is pretty neat, though I'm curious as to how reliably the pigeons can find their destinations based on Google Streetview...
Still, the strange thing about the video is that they don't mention the project—half of the proceeds go towards one of two "actions": providing clean water or planting trees in Africa—at any point during the clip. Thankfully, it's a straightforward metaphor:
...this shoe (or should we say this ribbon) conforms to the shape of the foot, just like a bandage meant to heal it, [which has] become the distinctive sign of our brand, directly linked to our eco-responsible philosophy...
For what it's worth, the design ain't bad... though I'm not seeing the "pigeon" option under shipping (for U.S. or Belgian addresses).
Here's a great example of how to tie industrial design, fashion design, jewelry design, textile design, photography and film together in a single exhibition: RISD's "Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention in American Fashion, 1920-1980." The currently-running exhibition features more than 200 objects, from flapper dresses to brooches to barware, all dedicated to classy boozing and there's also an attendant coffee-table book/catalog.
"The cocktail is not just a drink," writes curator Joanne Dolan Ingersoll, "not just spirits combined with a mixer, but a spectacle, a symbol of American joie de vivre, prosperity, youth and unity."
The show runs until July 31st. NPR gave it a glowing review, which you can read here.
During Sofia Design Week Puma is running a Creative Factory where everyone is invited to design their own jacket. The cut is always the same (available in different sizes) but the colors of the various pattern parts (seven in total) can be chosen individually.
So, for the equivalent of about $25 (charged for the sewing), you can create a one-off sports jacket. A great idea housed in a nice location in the middle of Sofia—an apartment right on Shishman Street. Not only can you watch the production process of assembling your very own Puma jacket, but you can also recharge your batteries in a welcoming hangout after walking your feet off, looking at the festival.
All the individual pieces are already pre-cut with a laser cutter.
Two tailors at a time are working over the course of a ten hour day to produce all the jackets for the Puma Creative Factory visitors.
United Nude is a classic case of modern mythology: Rem D Koolhaas (not to be confused with his uncle of OMA) and Galahad Clark—of the storied British bootmakers—launched the forward-thinking shoe brand in 2003 as a new synthesis of design and fashion.
Spanish performance artist Alicia Framis invited them to create a "shoe suitable for outer space" for her "Moon Life" project, a multidisciplinary speculation about intergalactic travel and living in space. True to its unconventional nature, United Nude arrived at a flat pack platform heel:
...a high-heeled shoe both elegant and sexy while not be limited by the extreme conditions of space such as temperature and pressure. Additionally, United Nude's goal was to create a shoe that can also function in a gravity rich environment.
The further the journey, the more it will cost to transport by weight and volume. Therefore United Nude formulated their own criteria for their Moon Life Shoe: to create something as light and compact as possible while remaining fashionable. The outcome is the United Nude Flat Pack shoe.
Changing the face of Czech cycling, sisters Eliska and Dagmar Mertova—the dynamic duo behind Prague-based fashion label Segrasegra, sistersister—are doing it in sustainable style. With outerwear, jeans, sweatshirts, T-shirts and a few specially designed "wheel-to-work, peddle-to-party" pieces for women, the line is defined by its use of bicycle innertubes in its design, which has both practical and aesthetic purpose. Explains the sisters:
We visited a few bike shops and got the old tire tubes for free. [The material] has found a really great use on our clothes. So if anybody has some at home, bring them to us!
Oftentimes designers speak about bringing art into everyday life; Russian-born French artist Sonia Delaunay made this central to her life's work. Known primarily as an abstract painter and "extraordinary colorist," Delaunay worked across disciplines: fashion, textiles, graphic design, interiors and fine art. On view until June 5th, the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is presenting the first major exhibition of Sonia Delaunay's work in the United States in 30 years.
Focusing on Delaunay's designs for fashion and textile and covering two major periods of creative output between the 1920's–30s, the exhibition shows more than 300 works with correlating period photographs, fashion illustrations and design work.
Design B53, 1924
Sonia Delaunay in her studio at boulevard Malesherbes, Photographed by Germaine Krull
A driving force behind Delaunay's work is the theory of "simultaneity," the sensation of movement and rhythm created by the simultaneous contrasts of certain colors.
British fashion designer Margaret Howell and Industrial Facility's Sam Hecht have collaborated to produce a unique shirt, mixing the functionality of cycling jerseys with the style of tailoring. The pale blue cotton button-down is simple in the front, while the back tail is turned up to form dual back pockets to hold wallet, maps, or cell phone while traveling. Unlike regular cycling jerseys, though, this one is work-appropriate.
Debuting at New York Fashion Week, Victorinox launched their capsule collection Remade in Switzerland by UK fashion designer Christopher Ræburn. The small collection of just 8 pieces are constructed from re-appropriated Swiss military fabrics such as sleeping bags, parachutes, blankets, and wool coats—some as old as 60 years. Each item is a limited-edition of 100 pieces including Ræburn's badass take on the classic Swiss army knife (pictured below). Kudos to the creative team behind the website and presentation, it's beautifully executed!
If you've seen The King's Speech you may have spotted the Zip Antique necklace, pictured above, around the Duchess of Windsor's neck. In one week it will be on display at the Cooper-Hewitt, alongside more than 300 other pieces of jewelry, timepieces and fashion accessories designed by Van Cleef & Arpels.
If a company primarily known for jewelry seems like an odd choice for the Cooper-Hewitt, you need only take a closer look at the company in question. As the Times reports,
"[Van Cleef & Arpels] has an amazing history, heritage, and archives. We have incredible creations in terms of design and style but also in terms of stones and technique," said Nicolas Bos, the company's New York-based global creative director and chief executive for the Americas. "This has never really been displayed or explained, and the public has never gotten to see a full overview of what Van Cleef & Arpels is about."
...It is Van Cleef & Arpels's position in the forefront of design that makes the house worthy of such an extensive show, said Sarah D. Coffin, the exhibit curator and the head of product design and decorative arts at the Cooper-Hewitt, a division of the Smithsonian Institution. "Van Cleef focuses on design first. It's the design that dictates what stones will be used and not vice versa," Ms. Coffin said.
Over the last few years blue-sky RFID concepts have been ten a penny—even if the conversion rate of these technological marvels into reality has been small and somewhat slow.
Emerging from the Hyper Island Advanced Interface Design module, "Karmatech" is the latest concept to illustrate the wondrous potential of RFID technology—in this case the chips residing in the shoe range of WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy.
Students of automotive design and fashion at the European Institute of Design in Barcelona have joined forces to explore the futures of urban mobility, in collaboration with Iniciativa BMW. "Suits That Transport"—translated a little cagily from the Spanish "El traje que te transporta"— is the name given to an exhibition of the students final outcomes currently on public display on the Rambla Catalunya in central Barcelona.
The concepts on offer are imaginative to say the least. "Comme des Voitures" (above) supposes a mobile urbanite zipping through the city streets on boots soled with large ball-bearings whilst being bombarded with ambient and real time information on the intelligent visor. Similarly "City-Sking" offers up the idea of skis made for urban terrain—and a funky space-suit to match. Yet more blue-sky is the mysterious "Flying suit" (below)—what this inflatable-looking garment is intended to do we can only imagine. Oh and you heard it here first—black and white will be the new florescent hi-vis.
Smart-arse jibes aside—and credit where credit is due—we've got to give it to the participants for some highly creative concepts and some modelling of the highest order. Its great to see, as always, some imaginative energy being invested in alternative mobility solutions—even if they can verge on the Jetsonian on occasion.
Designers Nien Lam and Susan Ngo have collaborated to warn us of the risks of our pollution-heavy urban lifestyles on our bodily organs through fashion. In the presence of carbon monoxide, the "Warning Signs" wearables subtly change colour from a healthy pink to a slightly worrying grey.
Although presumably little more than an evocative concept, we're suitably impressed by the pairs production prowess. Take the jump for a couple of vids from their making phase —including the intriguing effects of a laser cutter on thermochromatic textile.
Generally, I'm not one to sport some middle-earth-looking orange-milky way-splashed brown borderline-KKK outfit, but under a sky suddenly darkened by black-edged clouds, on streets where all others have run for cover, well, hell yeah! Just need a good 1000-yard stare to accessorize it with. "Breathable micro polyester (100%) Water and wind resistant with an extra extension for backpacks" Perfect.
India based fashion designer Mridu Sahai has created this intriguing collection, inspired by objects more commonly associated with architecture and interiors than clothing.
Incorporating all sorts of hooks, grills, handles and latches,"Fittings" is intended to "reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary" and the beauty in everyday, functional objects. Mridu is also interested in the gender conflict created in the clash of textiles and hardware.
Marloes ten Bhömer is an experimental shoemaker who is exploring new possibilities in fabrication and fitting provided by 3D-printing. Rapidprototypedshoe, shown here, is breated through sintered plastic plumer, into the shape of one's foot. A fantastic solution if, like many, you're two feet aren't exactly the same size.
If 3D shoe printing takes off, we wonder other materials could be used to create a shoe that can stretch, bend, and be repaired? Bhömer has just started to address that by designing a shoe that comes apart in layers, allowing for different material properties and easy replacement of worn-out parts.
UK product development firm Special Agent introduces their own branded line of performance travel bags titled BodyKit. The series of bags offer transformational wearing styles allowing you to keep your personal items close while actively making your way around the busy city. Take their chest-strapped bulletproof looking bodygrip for example. Imagine you're on your way to that top-secret meeting on the 30th floor of a high rise building, leaping parkour-style from ledge to ledge, with your iPad strapped to your chest. Without breaking a sweat, you unfold your pack into a stylish shoulder bag, assuming your casual identity upon arrival. Relax.
With specially designed laser cut steel fittings, Bodykit promises to allow limitless adaptability and play thanks to Special Agent's use of high quality materials and years of experience designing gear for the UK's elite military forces. Check out the full line of products, and become inspired to think of what your design firm could develop on the side.
Veronika Scott, a junior at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, has embarked on a quest to help over 32,000 homeless Detroiters by providing them with something basic, but much needed: a winter coat. The problem of the immense number of homeless is exacerbated by the lack of funding for proper shelters, leaving half of them out in the cold. As Scott points out, "for those who have no home, their coat is also their shelter," so rather than just clothe those in need, she's developed a hybrid shelter and garment—the coat turns into a sleeping bag, using body heat captured during the day to provide extra warmth at night.
The Element S coat is made from Tyvek and wool, simple enough to be made by first time sewers, and, in fact, designed to be. Scott hopes the production of these coats will teach people new skills, help them find employment, and inspire a sense of pride.